It’s been over a decade since the Nationalist Party has triumphed at an election and, by the looks of the current polls, it has a long way to go yet.
However, the party is now poised to adopt a new statute in the hope that modernising its structures will render itself more relevant to Maltese voters.
The new statute, seen by Lovin Malta, still needs to pass a vote at the General Council later this month, but this is the crux of what the party’s executive committee approved over the weekend.
1. The party will only have one deputy leader
The PN currently has two deputy leaders, one in charge of party affairs (David Agius) and one in charge of parliamentary matters (Robert Arrigo).
However, it will now have a single deputy leader, who will be tasked with deputising for the leader when he is indisposed and assisting him across the board.
The deputy leader will no longer be elected by the party members (tesserati) but by the General Council. However, the tesserati have retained the power to elect the leader, meaning a proposal by former minister Louis Galea to restrict the vote to politically active members has been turned down.
2. The party will appoint two new presidents for policy and social dialogue
Two entirely new roles have been envisaged in the statute, a president for policy research and another for social dialogue.
The president for policy research must be an MP and will be tasked with updating the party’s policies, as well as its research and training methods, to ensure they are grounded in the modern realities of everyday life.
Meanwhile, the president for social dialogue will be in charge of running an outreach and customer care unit, setting up a network of volunteers and ensuring the party is close to the people.
3. Two secretaries will be appointed
The PN has taken a leaf out of the Labour Party’s book by creating an executive secretary position, but unlike the PL it has also retained the secretary general role.
Both secretaries will be expected to work hand in hand together but will have slightly different roles. The secretary general will be in charge of communications, organising party activities, mobilising the electorate, and planning electoral campaigns, while the executive secretary will be entrusted with internal logistics and “ensuring that everyone who comes in contact with the party has a positive experience.”
4. Five regional managers will be appointed
No election can be won without a good ground game and the PN intends to bulk up its efforts in this regard by appointing five regional managers, one for each region.
Regional managers will act as a bridge between the party’s leadership and its members, and will sit in on committee and regional meetings without the right to vote as well as prepare a report on their region’s work every three months.
They won’t be allowed to contest national elections while still serving as regional managers.
5. A ‘Council of Elders’ will be set up
The PN will set up a ‘Council of Elders’, composed of ex leaders, deputy leaders and secretary generals who no longer have any active positions within the party.
This council will consult the present leader at least every four months but their discussions will be completely secret.
“This new statute is expected to spur the party on by giving it strong tools for the good of the Maltese people,” the PN said in a statement. “The proposals make it clear that the PN is a people’s party and that the vocation of all its members should be to serve the common good.”
Changing a statute is one thing while changing the hearts and minds of people is something completely different. As it stands, it will take nothing short of a miracle for the PN to win the next election but this statute change shows they at least have some determination to turn things around.
Cover photo: Partit Nazzjonalista
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